Summer Tomato Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

As summer winds down but the heat persists, this simple salad will refresh and help to keep us out of the kitchen because it takes only minutes to pull together before we are enjoying it.

With tomatoes still in season here in Texas, this recipe can help us make use of our local produce, or maybe even our backyard or patio gardens!

Here are a few health benefits of this simple summer salad.

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are fruits of the nightshade family that are typically prepared and consumed as a vegetable. These little fruits are mostly water (95%), which helps to hydrate, and the remaining 5% consists primarily of carbohydrates and fiber (1). Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals like vitamins C and B9 (folate), and potassium (1). Tomatoes contain other beneficial compounds like lycopene, chlorogenic acid, and beta carotene, that act as antioxidants protecting our cells from oxidative damage when consumed and can help lower the risk for heart disease and certain cancers (2).

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus), another fruit eaten as a vegetable that is mostly water to help hydrate, is low in calories but contains many important micronutrients like vitamins K and C and minerals like potassium, manganese, and magnesium (